Simple Definition of forbear
: to choose not to do (something that you could do) : to avoid doing or saying (something)
Full Definition of forbear
1 obsolete : to do without
2 : to hold oneself back from especially with an effort <forbore mentioning the incident>
3 obsolete : to leave alone : shun <forbear his presence — Shakespeare>
2 : to control oneself when provoked : be patient
Examples of forbear
He carefully forbore any mention of her name for fear of upsetting them.
We decided to forbear provoking him any further.
We decided to forbear from provoking him any further.
He forebore to mention her name.
Origin of forbear
Middle English forberen, from Old English forberan to endure, do without, from for- + beran to bear
First Known Use: before 12th century
Rhymes with forbear
affair, aglare, airfare, Ajmer, Altair, antbear, armchair, au pair, aware, bakeware, barware, Basseterre, Baudelaire, beachwear, bergère, beware, bid fair, big hair, black bear, bricklayer, broodmare, brown bear, bugbear, caneware, carfare, Carrère, cave bear, chi-square, clayware, club chair, compare, compere, confrere, cookware, corsair, courseware, creamware, crosshair, cudbear, daymare, dead air, decare, deck chair, declare, delftware, despair, dishware, éclair, elsewhere, ensnare, eyewear, fanfare, fieldfare, firmware, flatware, Flaubert, footwear, forebear, forswear, foursquare, freeware, funfair, galère, giftware, glassware, Great Bear, groupware, Gruyère, guard hair, hardware, health care, hectare, high chair, horsehair, hot air, impair, infare, Khmer, Kildare, knitwear, life-care, light air, longhair, loungewear, Mayfair, menswear, meunière, midair, mohair, Molière, neckwear, nightmare, no fair, outstare, out-there, outwear, playwear, plein air, plowshare, Poor Clare, Port Blair, portiere, premiere, prepare, pushchair, rainwear, redware, repair, root hair, Sancerre, sea hare, shank's mare, shareware, shorthair, side chair, Sinclair, skiwear, sleepwear, slipware, sloth bear, software, somewhere, spongeware, sportswear, stemware, stoneware, sun bear, swimwear, threadbare, tinware, torchère, trouvère, tuyere, unfair, unhair, unswear, Voltaire, warfare, welfare, wheelchair, wirehair, workfare
Definition of forbear
variant of forebear
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up forbear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).